ABOUT COASTAL REDWOODS

Horse & Rider - - Conformation Clinic -

Red­wood trees are the tallest liv­ing en­ti­ties on the planet. They can grow to more than 380 feet tall, up to 22 feet in di­am­e­ter, and live up to 2,000 years. Imag­ine a tree of that di­men­sion grow­ing from a seed the same size as that from a tomato. The red­wood for­est is the great­est liv­ing-mass-per-land unit ever mea­sured. Along the North­ern Cal­i­for­nia coast, red­wood forests grow well be­cause of the di­rect in­flu­ence of the ocean, which mod­er­ates sea­sonal tem­per­a­tures, pro­vides abun­dant win­ter rain­fall, fre­quent sum­mer fog, and avail­able sum­mer sun. Be­cause of in­tol­er­ance out­side these con­di­tions, the red­wood for­est is found only up to 30 miles in­land. Since log­ging be­gan in the late 1800s, 95 per­cent of old-growth redwoods have been forested. Ex­ten­sive log­ging has re­sulted in the loss of old-growth for­est, de­struc­tive ero­sion, and decades of stream dam­age. We won’t see a re­turn of those forests in our life­time; it’ll take 2,000 years for the trees to once again reach the old-growth stage, In the 1920s, the state of Cal­i­for­nia pre­served some key red­wood groves. In 1968, this ac­tion was fol­lowed by the estab­lish­ment of Red­wood Na­tional Park and three state parks. The na­tional park bound­ary en­cir­cles the state parks to bet­ter pro­tect the an­cient red­wood forests. In the 1980s, the United Na­tions des­ig­nated this area both a World Her­itage Site and an In­ter­na­tional Bio­sphere Re­serve.

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